As we anticipate our annual Memorial Day holiday long weekend, with its backyard barbecues, star-spangled pyrotechnic displays, beverage-filled coolers and enough “Holiday Sales” to stress even the most intrepid credit cards, it makes us wonder if we’ve forgotten something amid the hot dogs, fireworks and shopping. What happened to the heroes America is supposed to be “memorializing?”
Thanks to the courageous members of our armed forces, we can enjoy this quintessential American lifestyle! So, while we continue to go about our everyday lives 365 DAYS a year, we set aside just ONE day to pay homage to those lives sacrificed EVERY DAY for the freedoms we too often take for granted.
When placed within this context, it makes us wonder, do the majority of us think of Memorial Day as just another chance to enjoy a three-day weekend? But, after we've returned to our regular work weeks, how many of us will neatly put our gratitude back onto the shelf until next year…when we’ll once again trot out our patriotism, along with our grills, ice chests, sparklers and ball caps!
Maybe, we should rethink the idea of Memorial DAY and strive to practice Memorial EVERY Day. Situated in the heart of a military enclave, here in San Antonio, we have the opportunity to show our gratitude to service members regularly. However, regardless of where you might reside, opportunities abound…if you’re willing to look for them!
Our armed services draw on members of communities across the entire nation – from the largest cities to the most remote rural regions. Not only do our troops serve, but they come from families and businesses who ALSO sacrifice for this service. Parents feel the catch in their hearts and throats as they send their children off to duty. Spouses and children wait patiently – and anxiously – at home while mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, report to military posts around the world. Business owners juggle work schedules and responsibilities while reservists continue their service on weekends, summers and deployments.
And, most importantly, those who have honorably served in the past – whether during armed conflicts or fulfilling vital functions on military bases – can be found among us every day! Our fathers, grandfathers, uncles…AND aunts…who proudly stepped up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in World War II. Those who braved the hardships in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts — and many who continue to carry both the physical and emotional scars of their service. And, today’s warriors who willingly VOLUNTEERED to ensure our freedom!
These veterans literally embody the idea of “heroes among us.” That person working in the cubicle next to you could have served. That person helping you in a store could have served. That person sitting beside you in class could have served. That Doctor, nurse or Dental assistant taking care of you could have served. And we speak from the voice of experience! Best Choice Dental can count veterans and reservists among our past and current team members – and we know we are better healthcare providers because of their knowledge and dedication.
Of course, we’ve yet to mention those we TRULY honor on Memorial Day…those who have paid for our liberty with their lives. From the Revolutionary War through to those who have fallen today, we owe an eternal debt of gratitude to these men, women and, yes, children who have fallen, so we may continue to stand free!
So, while we lay wreaths and bow our heads in thanks for their service during this Memorial Day weekend, maybe we should demonstrate a more tangible form of thanks to our service men and women. As we originally proposed, suppose we make a point of showing our gratitude on a daily basis...just as we enjoy the liberties they fought – and died – for every day!
Remember those “everyday” people we mentioned before…that cubicle worker, that storekeeper, that student, that medical worker? What IF…you bought a lunch for that coworker who served…you offer a simple “Thank You” to that retail worker who served…you left an extra tip for that restaurant worker who served…you bought a cup of coffee for that student who served…you brought a cheery card to that medical person who served…you took a cake to that neighbor with a family member who is serving…you spent an hour just visiting with that parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin who served!
What IF you vowed to do something more than just once a year to honor our military personnel, both past and present. At Best Choice, we make it our mission to thank the members of the military – AND their families – whenever we get the chance. We need to remember their sacrifices and service year 'round. So when the sun sets on Memorial Day 2019, why not join us in making Memorial EVERY Day a part of your daily routines…if THEY can do it for us, then we most certainly can do it for THEM!